Whether you are reading this because you are concerned for yourself or if you are concerned for a loved one, it is important to avoid alcohol dependence and alcohol addiction at all costs. If you believe that you or someone you love has been affected by alcoholism, we can help.
Know the Stages of Alcoholism
Alcohol addiction does not begin all at once. There are early symptoms of alcoholism that you need to be aware of. Take a look at the following phases of alcoholism, and see if they apply to your situation:
- During the first stage of alcohol addiction you may drink socially, and you may have many friends who also drink. Drinking is often a way to escape reality or avoid stress or sadness. You may drink, because you feel awkward in social situations. You may spend time recovering from drinking. Most importantly you require more alcohol over time in order to achieve the same effects. This is known as “building a tolerance” and is the first important sign of a budding alcohol addiction.
- During the second stage alcohol becomes more central to your life. You plan to drink, and you use drinking to celebrate, to cope, to relax or for any other reason. Loved ones may mention your drinking, and you might be defensive about your right to drink. You may begin to hide your drinking. Alcohol becomes a problem at this phase. You experience more blackouts (loss of memory), hangovers, stomach problems and relationship problems.
- During the third stage drinking is truly a problem. You plan to stop drinking, but you find that you cannot stop. Your body becomes accustomed to alcohol. Your relationship, legal and job problems begin to increase during this stage. You may avoid friends and family completely. You may drink in the morning to “take the edge off.” You may feel sick or irritable when you do not drink. You may neglect important things or forget about things you once loved. You may talk more about seeking help, and you may seek help half-heartedly.
- During the fourth stage of alcohol addiction there is no question that you have an alcohol problem. You may experience criminal charges, DUI or DWI or job loss. You may drink all day. You may remain sick or experience liver problems, shaking or personality changes. At this point you are so addicted to alcohol that your body depends on having a drink in order to remain functional.
Support and Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, we can help. The sooner you receive treatment the better chance you have for a full recovery. Call our toll-free helpline to find reputable treatment resources and find out more about alcohol rehab programs. Speak confidentially with one of our recovery assistants today. We are here for you 24 hours a day.